Do ZZ Plants Like Coffee Grounds? (Answered)

With little care you can successfully grow ZZ plant in your home. This houseplant is preferred for forgetful or lazy gardeners.

Even with low light, water and fertilizers this plant can add aesthetic appeal to your space.

If you’re a serious gardener and want to fertilize your plant, then you’ve to do twice or thrice in a year. In this write-up, you’ll learn about benefits of coffee grounds for ZZ plant.

Few argue about the benefits of leftover coffee grounds and insist not to use them. You might also come across some experienced gardeners, who recommend using coffee ground but with caution.

So, should you use it or not?

Coffee grounds are packed with nitrogen, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, copper and other micronutrients. When used correctly, your ZZ plants do like coffee grounds and it helps them to thrive.

Why Use Coffee Grounds to Fertilize Indoor Plants?

A report claims that about 64% adult Americans consume coffee on regular basis.

Instead of throwing the leftovers, gardeners can actually reuse them benefit their plants.

Is there any gardener, who doesn’t like to get nitrogen rich fertilizer for his/her plants without spending a dime?

Coffee grounds are available for free and study states that it does contain nutrients that help plant to grow.

Reusing kitchen leftovers for your container garden will reduce the waste production and directly you’ll be saving the environment.

Do ZZ Plants Like Coffee Grounds?

Fertilizing 1or 2 times in 6-8 weeks will be enough to have thriving ZZ plant.

Nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium are essential nutrients that every plant needs to produce green foliage, develop strong root system and increase the yield.

In case of ZZ plant, natural liquid fertilizers are recommended by gardeners to improve the foliage and plant growth.

Master Gardener, Linda Chalker Scott, shares that coffee grounds include nitrogen rich compounds that contribute in seed germination and plant growth.

Other nutrients like phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and calcium are housed in leftover coffee grounds.

Studies by top Universities claim, if you use coffee grounds in proper way they can benefit your plants.

If you fail to use in the right way, this kitchen leftovers can ruin your plant growth.

Also Read: How Often Should I Water My ZZ Plant?

Benefits of Using Coffee Grounds to ZZ Plant

  • Nutritional compounds in coffee grounds will give the needed boost for your plant to grow its stems, improve foliage and develop roots.
  • Using small amount of coffee grounds can improve the ability of your soil to lock moisture.
  • Decomposed coffee grounds have non-pathogenic elements that prevent pathogenic fungi from damaging your plants.
  • Though there are claims that use of coffee ground on plants will reduce pests like slugs and keep pets away, there is no scientific evidence to back this claim.
  • Adding leftover grounds to the soil will help to reduce its temperature, increase moisture and acts as a good mulching material.
  • Coffee grounds use will bind the movement of pesticide residue into the surrounding environment.

To reap all nutrients from coffee grounds, decomposing is the right way.

Decomposing will break nitrogen rich compounds and converting of carbon to nitrogen is also high i.e. 25-26.1.

Also Read: Best Soil Mix for ZZ Plant

How to Use Coffee Grounds to Fertilize ZZ Plant?

As highlighted in above lines, the way you use coffee ground has major impact on the plant’s health.

It might be easy for most gardeners to just throw the leftover coffee ground around the plant stem and wait to see the miracle.

But, there are reports that don’t encourage this way of using coffee grounds directly. Instead below listed are 3 best ways with which you can reap nutrients in this kitchen scrap.

#1 Add Coffee Grounds to Compost Bin

Most indoor plants including ZZ plant is native to tropical and sub-tropical climates. They are originated from soil that is rich in organic matter.

Nutrients the plant receives from these decomposed organic matter will help them to thrive and develop resistance towards pests.

Nitrogen compounds residing in coffee ground isn’t in a state to readily add nitrogen to the soil. They need to be decomposed.

Add leftover coffee grounds to your compost pile. This will ensure the temperature of the compost is sustained, thus resulting in nutrient rich compost.

A study carried out by Oregon State University, show that compared to manure, coffee grounds actively helped to maintain high temperature in compost pile. This will ensure the weeds aren’t germinated and pathogen will be killed. (Source)

Important: Treat coffee grounds as green material in your compost. Use balanced amount of brown material like dried leaves to get perfect compost.

How to Use: After couple of weeks, you can either add this compost (decomposed coffee grounds) to potting soil or a thin layer around the stem will do wonders.

#2 Compost (Liquid) Coffee Fertilizer

Throwing leftover coffee on the ZZ or any indoor plant won’t work.

Instead, you can make compost tea.

  • Add leftover coffee grounds to a container of water.
  • Soak them for about 2 weeks.
  • Nutrients compounds in coffee grounds break and they get transferred to water.
  • Strain the coffee grounds and use obtained liquid fertilizer to enrich the soil.

This compost tea will help to increase nutrients in the soil and simultaneously add helpful bacteria.

Related: Why My ZZ Plant Leaves Turning Yellow?

#3 Adding Coffee Grounds to Potting Soil

ZZ plant needs balanced fertilizer for healthy growth.

Adding nitrogen rich fertilizers may have adverse affect on the plant.

However, you can add small amount of coffee grounds to the potting soil or while repotting. As the nitrogen compounds takes time to decompose and add it to soil. The slow release will benefit the plant.

Ensure that along with coffee grounds you’re not using other nitrogen rich fertilizers.

Using heavy coffee grounds may bring some difficulties to your plant, which I listed below.

How Coffee Grounds Use Will Negatively Impact your Plants?

When not used properly, coffee grounds may leave your plant with stunted growth and yellow leaves.

Water Retention

Coffee grounds are good at water retention. This may result in overwatering houseplants like ZZ plant that don’t like to sit in water all the time.

Large amount of coffee grounds in the soil may lead to overwatering issue. Thus, rotting roots and discolored foliage.

Limit the use of coffee grounds in the soil.

It’s also recommended to use well drained potting mix that includes perlite and sand. This will ensure the excess water is drained out off the pot.

Check this out: How Often to Water Angel Wing Begonia?

May Attract Pests and Encourage Fungal Growth

Though few claims say that adding coffee grounds will avoid slugs, there is no scientific evidence to support.

Directly adding coffee grounds to the surface of the soil (which isn’t recommended) will attract pests and fungus.

Coffee grounds need to be decomposed to reap it benefits. Adding them to surface of the soil will lead to fungal growth and fungal disease.

To avoid, add leftover coffee grounds to compost pile.

Caffeine Inhibit the Growth of Some Plants

Small amount of caffeine left with coffee grounds may increase acidic nature of the soil, thus stopping the growth of few plants.

Particularly, when you add coffee grounds directly to the seedlings and younger plants, they may get killed.

Anyhow, using coffee grounds in compost show no significant evidence of same problem. So, composting is safe to use coffee grounds to fertilize ZZ plant.

Also Read: How Often to Water Parlor Palm?

Bottom Line

By now, you might know that using coffee grounds directly on the surface of the soil isn’t recommended.

Apart from coffee grounds, you actually have different natural fertilizers.

Instead of just using coffee grounds on houseplants, it would be safe if you use them for outdoor plants.

This doesn’t mean that you should avoid using coffee grounds on ZZ plant.

Your ZZ plant do like coffee grounds, but make sure to check the problems it gets if not used properly.